Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #4

The 4th Thundercrack Playlist and a very strong lineup of artists. All of the bands have been contacted to inform them that they are on the album and if any have a problem with it, I will take that song off. However, many of these songs are available on the bands' own websites' and the reaction so far from all bands has been 100% positive.

As always there is a good mix between live and studio stuff and some great bands that you might not have heard of before. Remember the aim of this site is to promote these artists and help support them. So if you like the music, please do something to help spread the word about it, whether that be buying their records, attending their concerts, or even simply just passing on this link to your friends. Just do something...

Here's the link

1. Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine

A band I first heard about back in 2003, Great Lake Swimmers and it's singer/songwriter Tony Dekker have released three breathtaking albums. 'Your Rocky Spine' was one of the tracks of last year and deserves to be revived this year. The album it features on, 'Ongiara', was another stand out of last year. Possessing one of the best voices in music today, Dekker allies this with outstanding lyrics, making him one of the most talented artists around. The music is slow and spare but there is not a note wasted on this record. Essential.

2. The Hellacopters - The Same Lame Story

A Swedish band that are unfortunately coming to the end of their existence, The Hellacopters have released some excellent records over the past 12 years. Released as a single last year 'The Same Lame Story' sees the band on top form doing what they do best, rock. For anyone unfamiliar with the band, there's a whole bunch of albums, singles, eps and dvds available so check out their website where you'll find all the information that you could possibly need on all their many releases. Definitely worth checking out their back catalogue and their new and final album is also coming out on April 18. Make sure you get the final statement by this tremendous band.

3. The Len Price 3 - Rentacrowd

A band that wear their influences proudly, The Len Price 3 are English to the core and are creating quite a stir at the moment. Currently signed to one of the finest labels in the US, Wicked Cool Records, The Len Price 3 released the album 'Rentacrowd' to acclaim from such noted figures as Rolling Stone's David Fricke and MTV's Kurt Loder. Currently working on their third album (their first is entitled 'Chinese Burn') the band are going from strength to strength. As David Fricke said "Rock & Roll doesn't need saving; the cure's right here."

4. Broken Social Scene - Superconnected (Acoustic Live)

Taken from a session for the radio station KCRW in 2005, this track see's BSS rework one of the songs off their self titled album of 2005 in an acoustic fashion. One of the finest live bands that I've ever seen, BSS are soon to embark on a European tour so check their site for details on dates and venues. A massively populated band, all are very active musicians and BSS is not their only venture so bands such as Metric, Emily Haines, BSS Presents Kevin Drew and countless others are well worth looking up.

5. Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy (Live)

One of the most talented musicians in the history of rock music, Warren Zevon has often been overlooked by the music public. He has released some fantastic albums, none more so than 'Excitable Boy', the title track of which is featured here. Noted for the contrast between his sometimes dark lyrics and his more upbeat sound, 'Excitable Boy' is a prime example of this. Just have a listen to the lyrics on this track and Warren's fantastic piano playing. It was recorded back in 1992. As a musical aside, Warren recorded an album with Bill Berry, Peter Buck and Mike Mills of REM under the name of 'Hindu Love Gods' back in 1990. It's available on Amazon for those interested. Warren passed away in 2003 and left a legacy of great albums and performances which should never be forgotten. Go on to his website and sign the petition for him to be inducted into the R&R Hall Of Fame.

6. Menomena - Wet And Rusting

Coming out of Portland, Oregon Menomena released their last album 'Friend And Foe' last year which features this song 'Wet And Rusting'. The band consists of three members, Brent Knopf, Justin Harris and Danny Seim, which leads to some amazing live performances. The album was entirely recorded, produced and mixed by the band and is richly layered. Currently touring Europe, their live shows are stunningly unique experiences. 'Friend And Foe' was their third album, their first two are 'I Am The Fun Blame Monster' and also 'Under An Hour'. Well worth checking out, my recommendation is to start out with 'Friend And Foe' and delve from there.

7. Jeff Tweedy - Jesus Etc. (Live)

Interesting recording this one, it was recorded in March of last year in somebody's house. It was a benefit for charity, with the previous year a group of fans paying over $17,000 for Tweedy to play. Not sure how much was paid for this performance but by the sounds of it, he gave them as much value as possible. He took a request from each person in a room of about 30 people and so the setlist is full of rare gems. A fantastic recording as well, 'Jesus Etc' is my favourite Wilco song and this is a great performance. One of the best songwriters in a long time Tweedy and Wilco continue to make great music and put on brilliant live shows.

8. The Contrast - Caught In A Trap

Another English band, The Contrast were formed back in 1999 and have since released six albums. Describing themselves as a guitar power pop band, the band released last November an excellent compilation entitled 'Perfect Disguise : Introducing The Contrast', which is an excellent start for anybody interested in hearing more of this band. Available on their site along with a t-shirt for $16, that should be everybody with an interest in hearing good music.

9. Yeasayer - 2080

After having recently made a high profile appearance on Conan O'Brien, Yeasayer are the band to watch at the moment. They released their debut album 'All Hour Cymbals' at the end of last year and having listened to it repeatedly over the last few weeks, I'll vouch for the greatness of this record. 2080 was the song that first got the attention of most people and it really is a fantastic song. The difference between Yeasayer and most other bands is that the album more than lives up to the quality of this song. An album that you will listen to for a long time, it rewards repeated listens. Going to be massive.

10. Rufus Wainwright - 14th Street (Live)

One of the most prolific and musically talented artists in many years, Rufus' career has developed from his self-titled album back in 1998 to last year's highly acclaimed record 'Release The Stars'. This track is taken from 'Want One', still my favourite of Rufus' records. Rufus always puts on a great show, whether it be solo or with a band and is always worth going to see. He's touring at the moment so check for dates on his website. Also for those who don't know his stuff, any of his albums would be a good start, each has their strong points. 'Release The Stars' would probably be the best. Can't go wrong with any of them.

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